Living Room Organization Ideas5 Ideas to Declutter & Organize the Living Room
By Elizabeth Larken
There's nothing utilitarian about a living room: it's for relaxing. Maybe you use it to curl up in a corner and read, maybe you use it to watch TV after a long day at the office, or maybe you like to sit on the couch and blast opera until your neighbors complain. Whatever your pleasure, the key to keeping this space nice and relaxing is to contain and then clear clutter regularly. Clutter, after all, induces stress (See: The Cost of Clutter By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide to Stress) which is the enemy of relaxation.
Here are the top living room organization ideas to clear clutter and keep that chill vibe going strong.
1. Do a quick, weekly clutter sweep
The number one key to controlling clutter is to start small. Focus on one task or area you can declutter a day. Here are some ideas:
- Sit on the couch in your living room and notice any distracting piles. Declutter.
- Grab the label maker and label the cables behind your entertainment console.
- Go through your TiVo or DVR series manager and purge shows you're not watching. Bonus: you get to sit on the couch for this one.
- Make a list of movies you'd like to see or update your Netflix queue. This will save time on upcoming dinner-and-a-movie nights. Bonus: it's fun.
- Stack and store magazines in a tray.
You can do this weekly if your household is 1-2 people; more often with a larger group: How to Delcutter the Living Room
2. Organize your book collection
Back in the day most bigger houses had libraries. Today most people's abodes combine the living room with the library. Clear clutter by keeping your book collection neat and arranging bookshelves so that they can accommodate typical living room staples like magazines and other reading materials.
(Read the full guide to organizing books: How to Organize Your Book Collection)
3. Use trays, bowls & cubbies
Have some decorative trays on hand to catch your "smalls" -- those little things that crop up in a living room like remote controls, loose change and magazines. Two advantages to the trays-and-bowls approach:
1. If you like to organize in piles (raising my own hand on this one), you can continue to do so, but your piles will be contained and look a lot neater.
2. It's much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and allows you to incorporate your own decor personality. Modernists can use some sleek and inexpensive trays from Target or West Elm. For a more dramatic decor personality, mirrored, decorative trays will do the trick.
Finally, cubbies are a great way to organize kids toys and activities.
Clear Clutter with Clutter Busters
4. Organize cables & wires
You know, that tangled jumble of cords behind your TV? That's what we're talking about.
You most likely have a combination of computers, televisions,sound systems and gaming equipment in your living room. Keep your cable organized. Here's a guide to Organizing Cable Clutter in 15 Minutes
Or better, yet: go wireless!
5. Utilize the fireplace & storage furniture
Mark Lund / Getty Images
If you're not burning anything, that is. Here are some ideas to utilize the hearth:
- Stack books
- Display collections
- Store and display pillar candles
- Turn it into a cubby with some doors
In addition, think about buying a coffee table with some built-in storage